75% Of Media Buyers Embracing Podcasts

Studio microphone for recording podcasts over blue background

Advertising across digital audio platforms is maturing, with 90 per cent of media buyers placing ads in streaming services and 75 per cent now embracing podcasts (up from 63 per cent in 2018) according to the IAB’s Audio Advertising State of the Nation Report released at the IAB Australia Audio Summit today.

The report, which is in its fourth year, also found that brand awareness is the main driver for the audio market growth, particularly for podcast advertising with 48 per cent of agencies using podcasts primarily for branding, an increase from 35 per cent in 2018.

Creative was identified by the Report as one of audio advertising’s greatest strengths and also its greatest challenges. The ease and speed of audio creative development has proven to be a great attraction for agencies, however only 17 per cent of media agencies are consistently tailoring their creative to suit the different audio environments, which is vital when creative is the most important element of campaign impact. Although brand awareness is the number one objective of audio advertising, only one third of the buy-side are tracking these metrics and only 25 per cent are tracking sales.

As advertisers increase their investment more focus is being paid to the metrics that are being used to measure success. Reach, frequency and completion are the most common metrics for both streaming and podcasts, though agencies are more confident in measuring these metrics for streaming audio compared to podcasts.

The Audio Advertising State of the Nation Report is a truly collaborative industry project, supported by 18 different media and tech companies, as well as industry body Commercial Radio Australia.  Fieldwork was conducted by independent research company Hoop Group in December 2019 with more than 250 respondents.

IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy commented: “It’s clear the market has evolved from experimentation into a more strategically driven brand building approach to digital audio advertising, reflecting the growing consumer consumption of audio formats, particularly podcasting. We take very seriously our responsibility as the industry body to invest in research that provides the industry with objective market wide data and we’ll continue to push hard to secure valuable insights for marketers and agencies alike.”

IAB Audio Council co-chair and Triton Digital director of market development Richard Palmer said: “The benefits of digital audio advertising are now widely understood and the market is clearly embracing the branding potential different formats offer.  Over the next twelve months we anticipate the industry will come to understand the need to move from repurposing existing ads and instead look to produce creative campaigns tailored to suit the environment in which it appears.”

Key headlines from the report include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of media agencies are regularly using streaming digital audio advertising. Call to action spots are most popular format of streaming audio and have increased in usage strongly year on year
  • Recorded radio spots are the most popular format, while usage of native audio and branded podcasts have experienced growth with potential for further growth over the next year.
  • Advantages of data and targeting continue to drive the adoption of programmatic trading in the audio advertising space and in a challenging ad market, price has increased as an influence.
  • Increasing brand awareness is the key objective for broadcast, streaming and podcast advertising and satisfaction with audio’s ability to meet this objective is high.


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